How to support patients with BRCA genetic mutation? Research review.
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Institute of Psychology, University of Szczecin
Submission date: 2019-05-15
Final revision date: 2019-08-20
Acceptance date: 2019-09-05
Online publication date: 2019-12-18
Publication date: 2019-12-18
Corresponding author
Sylwia Natalia Michałowska   

Institute of Psychology, University of Szczecin
Arch Psych Psych 2019;21(4):16-26
Aim of the study:
According to research conducted so far, the detection of a genetic mutation that increases the risk of developing cancer may be associated with feelings of discomfort, anxiety and apprehension, so it is important to know the needs and expectations externalized by those patients who face the challenge of coping with information about cancer risk. This analyzes the results obtained on this subject in recent studies.

Subject or material and methods:
The results of 11 studies conducted in the years 2000-2018 were analyzed. To achieve this aim, the EBSCO, PubMed, PsychARTICLES and MEDLINE databases were searched through.

The results obtained show that both male and female carriers of BRCA mutations have specific support needs. They usually look for valuable content, including information on the procedure for conducting the genetic test and the consequences of obtaining a positive result. Social as well as therapeutic support are also significant. Patients who participated in psychotherapy assessed this form of help as valuable and necessary, especially in relation to the decision making process regarding surgical treatment.

Support programs for patients with BRCA mutations implemented in different countries have a chance to become an inspiration for introducing similar solutions in Poland.

This could possibly lead to increased patient involvement in preventive activities or could contribute to the reduction of anxiety or distress that results from having a genetic mutation.

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